How Is A Concrete Roof Tile Installed?

How is a concrete roof tile installed? Learn how the professionals install concrete roofing tile. There are a number of different ways concrete roof tiles can be installed. Concrete roofing expert Andy...

There are a number of different ways concrete roof tiles can be installed. Concrete roofing expert Andy Dolan of Columbia Concrete Products, Ltd explains that there are basically two types of concrete roof tiles produced - tiles with anchor lugs or tiles without anchor lugs, which are attached with nails, screws, clips, adhesive, or a combination of these. "The concrete tiles we produce are made with an integral anchor lug on the backside of the tile. Typically, using a wood turf system on a single family home, the turf is actually encapsulated with an underlinement. The underlinement is a protective barrier to the elements, acting as the security blanket rather than being the primary roof. It's only there for secondary ingress or weather ingress issues. Once the underlinement has been incorporated on the trusses, wood battens (we use a 1 inch x 4 inch wood batten) are uniformly spaced on the roof, and then the tiles are actually anchored onto that. There is a lug on each tile that it actually hooks onto. Then the tiles are interlocked sideways by a rain channel (which is an integral part of the roof tile), and the course above is head-lapped to the one below," says Dolan.

Other attachment systems include nails, screws, clips, or adhesives. "For tiles without anchor lugs they typically employ a process where they put a solid roof sheeting down, such as plywood or a steel product, and they put underlinement over that. Then they directly fasten the tiles to the deck by either a screw or a nail," he explains.

Concrete roofing tiles are made in a number of different styles and designs from flat to ridged to curved, but almost all are designed to fit together layer upon layer. The method of installation of attaching to the roof structure is based on the degree of roof slope, they material the roof deck is made from, local building codes, the climate, and considerations such as threat of hurricane or earthquake. Sometimes a combination of methods is used in attaching concrete roofing tiles such nails and clips. Adhesives are beginning to gain popularity as a method for attaching tiles especially in areas prone to hurricanes.

Concrete roofing has the benefits of being a permanent roof structure lasting 100 plus years because they are resistant to almost all the elements including fire and are fairly simple to repair. The most common repair required by concrete roofs is the replacement of a broken, cracked, or missing tile. When this occurs, the tile can simply be removed and replaced according to the method of attachment. If your concrete roof is installed by the anchor lug and batten system described by Dolan, the repair only requires that you break up and remove the existing tile, lift and prop up the row above the broken tile, clean away any debris, insert the new tile onto the batten, and lower the raised row of tiles. Repairs and installation of concrete roof tiles can easily be done by the homeowner themselves or a roofing contractor who specializes in concrete roof installation.

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